A couple hugging and kissing in front of a Christmas tree.

Dating someone new during the holidays is exciting and romantic, but it can also be a slippery slope as endless questions arise: What should I get? How much should I spend? What if he/she doesn’t get me anything? What if he or she thinks my gift is too serious?

Gift giving in the early stages of a relationship can be difficult, so the trick is to find a present that’s the right amount of sweet, but doesn’t come off as over the top. You want to impress your boyfriend or girlfriend without scaring them away, and you don’t want to reveal all your tricks during the first gift-giving holiday, either.

To help you navigate this uncharted territory and escape the holiday season unscathed, here are five budget-friendly gifts that will impress your new significant other.

Let the Games Begin
Board games are perfect for a cozy night in and they let set you up for a little friendly competition. Does your significant other have a favorite game? Surprise him or her with it this holiday season.

Holiday Spirits
With the right presentation, beer or wine makes the perfect holiday gift. Maybe you’ve bonded over an IPA that you both love or your significant other has mentioned a wine they’re dying to try? Track it down and wrap it with festive paper. Better yet, create a date night basket, and include some other small items like their favorite snack or dessert.

No a fan of beer or wine? There are hundreds of alcohol gift sets available during the holidays; you can find deals in store or online featuring different types of liquor, mixed drinks and more.

A Novel Idea
This one can score you some easy bonus points because it shows you listen and pay attention to your significant other’s interests. During the first few months, couples talk about everything including favorite books and movies. These topics are great icebreakers, but they can also inspire holiday gift ideas.

Find a book by his or her favorite author or track down that old film they’re crazy about. If it’s an older book, be sure to check used or vintage book stores, you may find a limited or early edition that would be even more impressive.

“I’ve Got to… Get Away”
According to a 2016 holiday gift survey, travel is the most popular gift on Americans’ holiday wish list this year. We’re not suggesting flying to Paris or renting an expensive, exotic beach house, but if you plan ahead, you can score some fantastic budget-friendly travel options. Check out the deals on websites like Groupon and Travelzoo, or find a cozy place on Airbnb.

Remember, you don’t have to go far for a romantic getaway; for many couples, simply packing up the car for a scenic drive and picnic dinner is perfect. Plan a trip, near or far, to impress your new significant other.

Give Me Some Sugar
Who doesn’t love delicious, sugary treats during the holidays? Cookies, brownies, muffins, or other desserts are easy DIY gifts that will delight your boyfriend or girlfriend and show that you’ve been paying attention every time you order dessert at dinner. Baking is also a great way to show you care and put in the effort to give him or her something thoughtful and sweet.

Use these gift ideas to navigate the holiday shopping journey this year. Whether you go for a big trip or a special bottle of wine, you’re significant other will definitely be impressed.


BIO: Jessica Thiefels has been writing for more than 10 years and is currently a lifestyle blogger. She’s written for Reader’s Digest, AARP, Shape, and more. Follow her on Twitter @Jlsander07 for money-saving ideas, health tips, and more.

Jessica Thiefels

Freelance Writer

Jessica Thiefels has been writing for more than 10 years and is currently a full-time writer and content marketing consultant. She’s written for Reader’s Digest, AARP, Lifehack and more. When she’s not writing, she’s traveling to a new destination or enjoying sunny San Diego with her husband.